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Pakistani migrants say beaten, returned to Turkey by Greek police

A lifebelt is seen on the beach of the port of Lesbos island on April 16, 2015. Since Greece bolstered controls along its land border with Turkey, along the Evros River, illegal immigrants have turned to the maritime route between Turkey and the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, notably Lesbos, Samos, Kos and Chios. 2015 started with a major increase in the number of Aegean crossings: 10,445 against 2,863 in the same period of 2014, according to the Greek port police. AFP PHOTO / ANGELOS TZORTZINIS / AFP PHOTO / ANGELOS TZORTZINIS

Two Pakistani asylum seekers said they were battered by Greek police who sent them back to Turkey, the Artı Gerçek news website reported on Thursday.

The asylum seekers, identified as Sufyan Mohammad and Ali Bari, crossed the Evros River, which forms the Turkish-Greek border, and were subsequently apprehended by Greek police.

They claimed to have been deprived of food and water for two days before being sent back to Turkey by boat.

The asylum seekers also said their money and valuables were confiscated by the police.

“I left Pakistan and arrived in Turkey via Iran. After reaching Greece, the Greek police captured me,” Mohammad said. “They said, ‘Why are you coming here? We’re going to kill you like in New Zealand,’ beat us up and took us to a camp where there were a number of people including pregnant women who were also beaten with sticks.”

He said his back and arms were covered in wounds and that he was treated in a hospital in the Turkish border province of Edirne after he was found by Turkish soldiers.

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